We have had a rough couple of weeks. You can read about it here (my husband’s business).
There is too much to say about this. Closing looks basically inevitable at this point, it’s just a question of when. After many sleepless nights, I am working on at least trying to do something positive and focus on collecting and preserving the legacy of the place.
Within hours of putting out this notice through Internet channels on Friday, we received about 25 emails where people laid out some of their memories, and they keep coming in. There are some incredibly moving testimonials that aren’t just about particular shows, but the deep sense of personal loss people feel over the shutdown of their countercultural home – a place that helped to shape some part of their identity (for better or for worse), even if they haven’t come though its doors in some time.
We’ve had our moments where we’ve lamented the shows our son won’t get to see. And the fact that he won’t be old enough to remember running around on the stage where his parents got married. I cannot imagine ever wanting to lay eyes on it again after we have left. (This is assuming that whoever is signing the lease that is undermining and forcing Dan out might leave the stage standing. I almost hope they do not.) I definitely will not miss the stress Dan has endured under this landlord for years.
At any rate, these are going to be a long last couple of months.
My husband owns a live music nightclub.
I feel pretty comfortable bringing my baby to its quieter acoustic shows. There’s a smoking ban in Columbus, so the air is clear, and Declan loves music. We have places where we can escape if the crowd seems too overwhelming.
But there is one peril I hadn’t anticipated: the drunken mommy factor.
At two recent shows – first, David Lindley and second, Jimmie Dale Gilmore – moms with the night off had already hit the tipsy point when they spotted us. In the first case, a woman I know who is a mom to two elementary school-aged kids started talking to Declan and instantly making him smile. I didn’t realize until after I’d agreed to let her hold him and released him into her arms that her balance wasn’t quite all it should be. Another friend and I kind of put our palms out and buttressed her in case she teetered too much, until I could extract my baby safely back into his sling.
On Saturday, my brother-in-law and nephew came to the Jimmie Dale show, as anxious to see Declan as the music. I handed him off to his Uncle Rob directly. Shortly thereafter, a woman started screaming “OH MY GOD, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL BABY! IS THIS DAN’S BABY? OH MY GOD!” and before I knew it, my son was again in the arms of an intoxicated mommy who clearly hadn’t held a baby in far too long. While Rob sort of ran after her to prevent a disaster, another woman ran up to me to tell me it was clear that it was clear that Declan had “a certain spark that draws people to him.”
For the sake of our son’s safety (as well as the peace and goodwill of his patrons), Dan came to the rescue. He practically had to pry Declan away from his captor and her friend, who was obnoxiously smushing her nose into his cheek. We stuffed him back into his sling and hung out at the sound board (off-limits to the general public) for a few minutes.
No sooner were we back with Declan’s uncle and cousin than old drunko had returned, forcing us into hiding again.
I guess I’m going to have to stay in hiding until May if I want to keep my baby protected from Bird Flu…
Believe it or not, this is Declan’s great grandfather’s Casio keyboard.
He loves to play it.
My grandfather was prone to try and learn to do new things right up until he died, at 89, in 1999.